Derby

Lame lamb learns to walk with leg splints

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Media captionBroomie will become the college's mascot when he has learnt to walk on a harness

A lamb found close to death and unable to use his front legs has learnt to walk again after being given a pair of leg splints.

Broomie was discovered lying in a field eight weeks ago by an employee of a farm run by Derby College students.

A vet suggested Broomie would need to be put down but the college "knew he had a will to live".

He would normally have been sold for meat, but he will soon become mascot for the college and farm.

Farm manager Adrian Oliver found the injured animal at the college's Broomfield Hall campus.

"He had already been weaned off by his mother and was perfectly all right when he was born," he said.

"When we had that cold snap he got really cold and weak and was flat out on the floor, lying there waiting to die.

"The vet couldn't work out why his front legs were so floppy and said that putting him to sleep would probably be the only prognosis."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Splints and braces are normally used to support human legs

But Broomie was still keen to eat, and Mr Oliver said he had a "real fighting spirit".

"I knew he had a will to live and decided that we needed to do everything we could to help him, literally, stand on his own feet," he said.

Mr Oliver made the splints using two plastic pipes, which he wrapped in padding.

Broomie has improved so much that he no longer needs to wear the splints.

Painkilling medication caused Broomie's fleece to fall out so he was given an adapted dog fleece to protect him from the cold.

Image copyright Derby College
Image caption Painkilling medication caused Broomie's fleece to fall out
Image copyright Derby College
Image caption Broomie was given an adapted dog fleece to protect him from the cold

The other sheep were unsure about him at first, but he has now been accepted as one of the flock.

"He is getting stronger every day and has now been integrated with the rest of the sheep and spring lambs," said Mr Oliver.

"He has a really cheeky character, making sure that he gets to the best hay and greeting visitors in case they have any food for him."

Image copyright Derby College
Image caption The splints were made from plastic pipes wrapped in padding
Image copyright Derby College
Image caption Broomie can now walk without the splints

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